The Town of Grand Lake was originally laid out in 1879 following an influx of homesteading families, and in 1881 the county seat was moved there due to a brief mining boom. This led to a feud between two political factions, one supporting Grand Lake and the other supporting Hot Sulphur Springs. The feud culminated in a deadly shooting in Grand Lake in 1883, which left three county commissioners and the county clerk dead. The county sheriff, a Hot Sulphur Springs proponent, shot and killed a pro-Grand Lake official during the incident, and later killed himself. The county seat was returned to Hot Sulphur Springs in 1888, ending much of the bitterness. (Source:

The Town was incorporated as a statutory municipality of the State of Colorado in June 1944. It is currently governed by a Board of Trustees consisting of a mayor and six trustees, elected by popular vote. The Board determines policies, enacts local legislation, adopts budgets and appoints the Town Manager, Town Clerk and Town Treasurer.

The Town of Grand Lake upholds the Six Pillars of Character: Citizenship, Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness and Caring.